EB-1: Multinational Executives and Managers
Multinational Executives and Managers is another category within the EB-1
classification. Unlike the EB-1 Persons of Extraordinary Ability category,
candidates for the Multinational Executives and Managers category must
have an offer of employment from the sponsoring employer. A candidate
must also meet the following standards to qualify:
- Employed abroad for one year within the last three years by the firm or
corporation for which they work in the U.S., or a subsidiary or affiliate
of that company. If the applicant has been in the U.S. for more than three
years in valid status, then the government will consider employment abroad
during the three year period before the applicant entered the U.S.
- For the required one year of the last three years abroad, the applicant
must have been working in an executive or managerial capacity for the
U.S. employer or a subsidiary of affiliate.
- For the U.S. job offer going forward, the applicant must be working in
a capacity that is managerial or executive for the same employer or a
subsidiary or affiliate of the overseas employer.
Given these requirements, the most important standard for this category
is the definition of executive or managerial capacity.
Executive capacity means the applicant:
- Directs the management of the company or a component or function within
- Establishes goals and policies for the company as a whole or a large division
- Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision making, including in
such areas as budgetary matters or client relations;
- Receives only general direction from higher level executives, stockholders
and board of directors. In other words, the applicant is generally responsible
for setting his/her tasks and priorities without direct assignment from
Managerial capacity is generally defined in terms of one of two sub-divided
categories: traditional managers and functional managers.
A Traditional Manager
- Manages the organization, department, subdivision or component;
- Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional or
- Has the authority to hire and fire or recommend personnel actions; and
- Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations of the relevant subdivision,
group or component.
A Functional Manager
- Manages “an essential function” or operation within the organization;
- Does not directly supervise other employees, but functions at a senior level;
- Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of an essential function.
Note that it is generally more straightforward to prove a traditional manager
case. A functional manager must demonstrate the importance of the function
that they manage, i.e. through evidence including the centrality of the
function to the company’s overall revenue stream, or other evidence
showing that the relevant function is not mid-level but very important
to the overall health of the company.
First line supervisors such as Team Leads are often not considered multinational
managers by the government. This is often because the relevant position
must be primarily managerial, and Team Leads often spend a significant
portion of their time performing non-managerial tasks, such as duties
directly related to developing a product. Moreover, the employees that
are being supervised must at least be professionals, usually defined as
college-educated workers in a specialty field. A stronger case is one
in which the applicant manages other supervisors, such as a Development
Manager who actually manages Team Leads. It is therefore necessary that
an applicant’s case be carefully presented and documented to meet
the appropriate standard.
Additional Considerations about the Managerial Category:
Some applicants assume that because they have an L-1A visa (nonimmigrant
visa for employees working in a managerial or executive capacity), they
automatically qualify for the Multinational Manager designation. This
is not so. Based on the patterns of government adjudication, the Multinational
Manager category has a higher standard of proof, as the expected benefit
of permanent residence is more valuable than the temporary permission
to work offered by the L-1A visa. In fact, there is a 2003 federal court
case that found that it was acceptable for the government to deny the
Multinational Manger designation for a position that it subsequently granted
L-1A visas for.
On the bright side, we present the following hypothetical situation in
which an applicant would be eligible for the Multinational Manager category:
an applicant who was a manager abroad during the required one of three
years before entry, but came to the U.S. on an L-1B visa, and is then
being promoted to a managerial position in the United States. This person
would qualify because he/she worked as a manager abroad, and the U.S.
position going forward is managerial in nature. It is not a bar to the
Multinational Manager category if the initial period of work in the U.S.
was as a specialty worker, for example as a computer programmer.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Arjun Verma have experience representing
applicants in the Multinational Executives and Managers category. For
an evaluation of whether you would meet the relevant standards and advice
about how to best document your case, please contact us.